In August, Concord will once again block off the streets around White Park for the 40th annual Concord Criterium
The Sunapee Racing Team is planning to host the 40th annual Concord Criterium on Aug. 1, but, like so much else during the coronavirus pandemic, the details of those plans are in limbo.
“Things are so complicated with COVID and trying to make race plans is very challenging,” said Danielle Ruane, who is the women’s director and secretary for Sunapee Racing.
Here’s what we do know about the cycling event. It will, as usual, take place around White Park. The streets around the park will be closed to cars as cyclists turn laps around the one-mile course, which the Sunapee Racing Team website described as “one of the best criterium courses in New England.” That description also admitted the team “might be biased” in its assessment of the course, but the race also serves as the New England Criterium Championships, so the course has to be pretty good.
There will be fewer categories and smaller fields this year as the organizers try to streamline the event as much as possible. Still, there are 10 categories of races (down from 12 last year) that include four events for juniors (boys and girls ages 9-14 and young men and women ages 15-18) and two for older riders (women 55 and over, men 45 and over). Field sizes are still to be determined because Sunapee Racing is waiting to open registration until more details are finalized. There were 310 cyclists at last year’s event, up from 200 in 2018.
The top racers will compete in the Men 1/2/3 and Women 1/2/3 categories. Each of those races come with $500 in prize money and the winners will be crowned New England champions. Last year, Concord’s Rebecca Fahringer finished first in the Women 1/2/3 race and Concord’s Danielle Baron took second. Tim Mitchell of Asland, Mass., won the 2019 Men 1/2/3 race with Concord’s Connor Jennings taking second.
While the final schedule details are still being ironed out, the event is expected to run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and fans are encouraged to attend. Each race takes about 40 to 50 minutes and start times will be staggered.
Anyone who wants to participate in the event must be registered with USA Cycling, which they were able to do on the day of the race last year if needed. Registration fees for racers range from $15 to $35, depending on the category and participants can sign up for additional races for just $10 each.
Last year, racers could get a one-day registration with USA Cycling when signing in at White Park.
More registration information and event details can be found at bikereg.com/concordcrit.
As always, check the website prior to race day to ensure it’s still on.